Friday, April 18, 2008

The Storms of Life

by Donna L. Watkins
Originally Published in A Healing Moment 2003

Are you waiting for something to happen? Does most of your life revolve around that desire for your life? Do you lose what today could have been by always looking ahead to what you want it to be?
© 2007 Donna L. Watkins - Bridge at Duke Gardens
I've been living in my future for many years. Dreams are good. They motivate us and allow us to keep our creative minds alive, but they are not to be LIFE to us. Life is to be in this moment. This year I discovered how much of my life has been lived for the future.

I've dreamed of having some forested land with a home built in the middle of it for many years. We moved to Virginia three years ago this month to make it happen. It took me a year and a half to find the land and then we began the process to build. Weather and "normal" building delays kept the project standing still for weeks at a time, but with the help of our conservation contractor we knew we were getting a quality built home and that we would save the trees close to the house as we wanted them.

Then the world fell in. Through a process of glitches, bleeps and lost communication, we lost a bunch of our forest which included about 80' of trees behind the screened porch which was to be my living space for writing and worshiping God. The entire purpose of building to keep the forest close was destroyed in less than one day.

Not only did I have to let go of that dream at the end of May, but I had to continue to build the house that I had designed to the inch, so that we could sell it to somebody else. My only hope has been that I at least have built somebody else's dream. God has a wonderful way of using bad in our lives for our own good and the good of others, so I'm sure my hopes will come true whether I "see" them or not.

I had named it "Faith Heritage Hill" because it was to be our last home and be passed as a heritage to our only son, Benjamin. Faith would build it because it was faith that led me to believe it could happen and faith was certainly needed for the many obstacles of the building process. It would be worth it all in my mind because I would be able to glorify God there and write of His Love for us that is so evident in His Creation all around us. The name certainly took a paradigm shift in defining what it meant!

The house is almost complete after almost a year-long journey to get it done and it's up for sale. "My" home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. My life of the future that is now quickly become a part of my past.

Sometimes we think if we become involved in spiritual things and obey God, that we will have instant success. Our dreams for success are not God's purpose for us. We tend to look at the desired end. What we call the process to that end, God calls the end.

Do you understand? The end is the process for God. The process is the life we live in Him. His purpose is for us to depend on Him and His power in our lives. If we can be in the middle of turmoil and bad circumstances with calm peace and joy, that is the purpose.

We tend to think the purpose is getting out of the bad circumstances and into our dreams. God trains us in the now. His purpose for your life is in this minute, not in the future. God wants you to see that just as Peter walked on the water to Jesus, that you can walk over the chaos of your life right now. Over the storms of destruction and despair. You can walk on top of them to Jesus.

Those sorrows and sufferings with our lives are actually the waves that we can walk on. God is wanting to build our faith and has greater purposes than our dreams at times. I still believe in my dream, but I got ahead of God in its timing. For now, He wants me in the midst of people rather than trees.

Oswald Chambers states:

" It is not true to say that God wants to teach us something in our trials: through every cloud He brings, He wants us to UNLEARN something. His purpose in the cloud is to simplify our belief until our relationship to Him is exactly that of a child."

We must learn to interpret the storms of life with the Light of God in ourselves. Unless we can look at the blackest night, with waves rolling up around us, with the assurance of His Light shining and taking us through, we have yet to truly know Him.

Consider it all joy, brethren. Paul taught by example and like him we can get through the storms of our life by walking on the water above them! God never gives us more than we can handle. We have to take up our sword with courage and rise above the battles, or we have to call God a liar!

Which will it be for you today? Let's walk on water to Jesus!

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